Buying a new car can be an exciting time, but with plenty of options on the market, the decision can quickly become overwhelming. While we may get distracted by sleek looks and the power under the hood, finding a vehicle that gives you lots of space and allows you to pack away plenty for the weekend – without the price tag of a 4WD – is a no-brainer at the dealership. As a result, it’s no shock that SUVs have become such a popular choice for Aussie motorists. But which model should you be looking at?
To help narrow down your search, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases a monthly report card on the best-selling cars in Australia – highlighting the most popular models on our roads. Check this page for regular updates on the best-selling SUVs, with March 2021 top-sellers listed below:
- Toyota RAV4
- Mazda CX-5
- Toyota LandCruiser
- Nissan X-Trail
- Mazda CX-3
- MG ZS
- Hyundai Kona
- Subaru Forester
- Subaru Outback
- Mazda CX-30
#1 Toyota RAV4 – 3,522 sales
Selling over 3,500 units in March, the Toyota RAV4 is available in GX, GXL, Cruiser and Edge varieties, giving motorists plenty of choices to get behind the wheel of. Drivers can also choose from a 6speed manual or 6speed automatic for the majority of the RAV4 range, with the Edge coming equipped with an 8speed auto transmission, with 2WD or AWD options – including electric AWD – additionally available on most models.
Available with Toyota’s Safety Sense – which includes features such as Pre-Collision Safety, Lane Departure Alert, Active Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Monitors – RAV4 models primarily come equipped with a 2.0L hybrid engine, while the Edge packs a 2.5L petrol engine under the hood, suitable if you’re looking to put your foot down.
#2 Mazda CX-5 – 3,022 sales
Mazda’s flagship SUV model, the CX-5 is proving is still has what it takes in the SUV market, selling over 3,000 models for March. Available in Maxx, Maxx Sport, Touring, GT and now the Akera models, the CX-5 provides plenty of comfort and safety for drivers, with the 360° View Monitor and a 7inch LCD infotainment unit available on select models, with the Mazda Radar Cruise Control for additional comfort.
Now available with a turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine – capable of churning out 140-170kW of power – the CX-5 also contains i-ACTIV AWD, which utilises real time data from 27 different monitors to improve driver safety, regardless of the conditions. For those looking to put the foot down, a Kuroi Sports pack is additionally available for purchase, as are 19inch alloys and cargo illumination, to help personalise your ride.
#3 Toyota LandCruiser – 2,244 sales
Another of the Japanese manufacturer’s large SUVs model on the list, the LandCruiser is a common sight out on the roads, owing to its 2,200 sales in March. Toyota’s longest running series model, the LandCruiser is a popular option for those who prefer to stick to the bitumen, or those who like to adventure off-road.
With a range that consists of the GX, GXL, VX and Sahara models, the LandCruiser is available in five, seven or eight-seat models, giving you plenty of room for the family. Powered with a 4.5L Turbo Diesel engine, the LandCruiser has plenty of grunt to get you where you need to go, along with a Multi-Terrain Select system to help the ride on the bumpiest of roads. With a 6.1inch LCD touchscreen or an Electro Multi Vision Screen for all your tech and comfort needs, drivers can expect satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, with Rear Seat Entertainment systems in the Sahara model to keep the kids happy on those long road trips.
#4 Nissan X-Trail – 1,932 sales
One of Nissan’s longest running models, the latest generation X-Trail is available in a variety of models, including the ST, ST-L, and Ti ranges, with drivers able to choose between a 4×2 or 4×4 model, although only petrol engines are currently available.
Selling over 1,900 units in March, the X-Trail includes features such as Emergency Braking, a push start engine and Advanced Drive-Assist Display, more premium models such as the Ti also include Intelligent Cruise Control, Pedestrian Detection and 19inch alloy wheels. For creature comfort, the X-Trail comes equipped with a 5-7inch touchscreen infotainment unit with built-in sat-nav, hands-free Bluetooth and keyless entry, allowing you to keep up with a busy lifestyle while staying safe on the road.
#5 Mazda CX-3 – 1,744 sales
Selling over 1,700 units in March, the Mazda CX-3 is proving to be a popular option for those keen on a smaller SUV. Available in both FWD and AWD models, the Mazda CX-3 range includes the Neo Sport, Maxx Sport, Maxx Sport LE, S Touring, Akari and Akari LE models, giving motorists plenty of options to test-drive.
With Skyactiv Technology to increase driver comfort behind the wheel, Mazda also offer the MZD Connect infotainment unit, allowing for hands-free talk and text, as well as sat nav and music. Additional features include a reverse camera, Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), heated front seats and an electric parking brake for easy use, making your time in the driver’s seat enjoyable.
#6 MG ZS – 1,510 sales
First launching in 2017, the MG ZS is a crossover SUV from SAIC Motor-owned MG, and offers the Excite, Excite Plus and Essence models for drivers to get behind the wheel of. Selling just over 1,500 units in March, the ZS Excite base model includes features such as LED daytime running lights, an 8inch touchscreen infotainment unit and 17inch alloys, alongside rear parking sensors and EPS power steering.
The Excite is powered by a 1.5L engine and is front-wheel drive, while the Excite Plus switches to a 1.0L turbo engine, and contains a 6speed automatic gearbox to get you where you need to be. If you’re looking at the Essence, it features all the same specs as the Excite Plus, in addition to sat-nav, a panoramic sunroof as well as keyless start.
#7 Hyundai Kona – 1,462 sales
One of the more recent inclusions to Hyundai’s line-up, the small Kona sold over 1,400 units in March. With plenty of models to choose from, the Kona range includes the likes of the Go, Active, Elite, Highlander and Electric model.
With a two-tone roof, daytime running LED lights and alloy wheels on most models, the Kona Highlander additionally includes a heated steering wheel, sunroof and plenty of colour options for the interior trim and stitching, allowing you to well and truly make the SUV your own. With Hyundai Auto Link and SmartSense safety features also installed, the Kona looks to have found the middle ground between fun and sensible.
#8 Subaru Forester – 1,439 sales
Now in its fifth generation, the Subaru Forester sold over 1,400 units in March, proving a popular option for those keen on an SUV. Available in a number of model varieties, the Forester features automatic transmission with a 4-cyclinder petrol engine, capable of a minimum output of 136kW, while also available with a 110kW hybrid engine.
Also featuring daytime LED running lights, dusk sensing headlights and a shark-fin antenna, the Forester’s interior additionally includes a 6.3inch Multi-Function Display unit, six speakers for all of your tunes, as well as a 60/40 split folding rear seats for when you’ve got plenty to pack away.
#9 Subaru Outback – 1,341 sales
Also known as the Subaru Legacy outside of Australia, the Subaru Outback has long been a staple within the Japanese manufacturer’s line-up, first rolling off the production line in 1994. Currently in its sixth generation, the Subaru Outback has often been overshadowed by the Forester, but March proved a popular month for the SUV, with over 1,300 units sold.
Available in a base, Sport or Touring model, all Outback models are AWD, and come equipped with a direct injection four-cylinder petrol engine, capable of a 138kW engine output. Featuring 18inch wheels, 2-tonne towing capacity, brake assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Change Assist and multiple power jacks and USB charging ports, the Outback offers plenty for motorists.
#10 Mazda CX-30 – 1,225 sales
First going on sale in 2019, the Mazda CX-30 is one of the newest additions from the Japanese brand, having been modelled on the fourth generation Mazda 3. Made to be the middle ground for those not sold on the slightly smaller Mazda CX-3 or larger CX-5, the Mazda CX-30 proved to be a popular alternative on Australian roads, with over 1,200 units sold in March.
Available in multiple models, including the G20 Pure, G20 Evolve, G20 Touring, G20 Astina in addition to the G25 Touring and G25 Astina, the Mazda CX-30 includes an Active Driving Display to help you keep an eye on your vitals, a 360-degree View Monitor to help keep an eye on your surroundings and Off-Road Traction to assist when you decide to go off the beaten track.
Which SUV should I buy?
While seeing what other people have bought may be a good starting place if you’re in the market for a new car, the decision will be unique to your situation, as well as your preferences. Those with a larger family may be more inclined to look at large SUVs such as the Toyota LandCruiser, while those who prefer an SUV but aren’t willing to spend big may be interested in the smaller Mazda CX-3 or Hyundai Kona. If you’re interested in finding out what is the most popular model on Aussie roads, head on over to our top selling cars page.
As with any big decision, it’s best to do your research before you step into a dealership, as factors such as fuel economy, safety, technology and extras could all sway your final decision, with each brand and SUV usually available with a variety of models. Comparing SUVs may be time-consuming, but will have been worth it when you get behind the wheel of your dream car, knowing you drove away with a good deal.
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